Long-time Businesses Prepare To Say Goodbye

Nico Payne

As coronavirus numbers continue to rise and restrictions continue to tighten across the state, several local businesses have announced that they are closing their doors or closing indefinitely amid the pandemic.

Two of the businesses we spoke to today are dealing with financial hardships, but one local salon says their closing shop because it’s their time and they want to keep people safe. The Coachella Valley is home to many long-standing businesses, some that have served residents for decades. But the pandemic has forced several of them to close their doors.

“It’s In The Bag,” has been in the valley for 30 years and is a go-to travel shop, but with flights grounded and road-tris discouraged, their business can’t continue.

“We’re in the travel industry and unfortunately were the first industry to get shut down and were the last industry that is going to come back. we have been blessed to have a clientele that is second to none,” said Chuck Weisbar, Owner of It’s In The Bag.

And the hardships reach beyond the travel industry, J. Russell The Salon in Palm Desert will say goodbye to the valley after 36 years.

“We’ve decided to close at the end of December,” said Meg Firestone, Co-owner of J. Russell The Salon.

Although covid-19 guidelines have made operations difficult, the salon’s owner says it’s simply time for them to shut their doors.

“They are wondering how my husband and I are doing because this has been our baby, but we’re doing well and we’re ready to move on and start the next chapter of our life. now is the time that everyone should be safe,” added Firestone.

And in one last effort to help the local economy, the Firestones helped their 60 plus employees find other jobs.

“They’re one of the best owners I’ve ever worked for and to lose them is devastating, that’s what makes it so hard,” said Marilyn Laswell, Stylist at J. Russell The Salon.

But not every business is closing in good financial standing, The Children’s Discovery Museum Of The Desert recently announced they will close indefinitely. The museum has suffered through coronavirus restrictions.

“Covid hit the museum and we don’t have the finances to remain closed doing virtual programming indefinitely. we do need to close down and conserve every penny we have,” said Davis Meyer, Co-chair of the board, The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert.

The Children’s Discovery Museum of The Desert has been a staple for the last 22 years and their future now depends on the support of the community and its donations.

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